Blogs & Opinion


Caviar looks tasty

Ed picks his tips for Royal Ascot and England v Italy

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 21st June 2012 view comments

Those people who went to Ascot on Tuesday had a genuine 'I was there' moment when they witnessed Frankel's demolition job in the Queen Anne.

I have been bemoaning the lack of a rival and competition for Frankel but have to admit that this performance was truly mesmerising. He is simply awesome and we must treasure him while he is around.

Black Caviar: Arrives at Ascot with high expectations

Black Caviar: Arrives at Ascot with high expectations

I have long said that Royal Ascot's scheduling is crazy and that I do not understand why each day is not brought to a crescendo with the best races fourth or fifth on the card.

This year the highlight of the meeting came in the very first race and nothing since has come anywhere close to matching it.

However, it might do on Saturday.

Both England and Italy like to play counter-attacking football so there must be every chance that we will see both defences on top and stalemate on Sunday and the need for dreaded penalties.

Ed Chamberlain
Quotes of the week

The final day is all about one horse - Black Caviar. If she gets beaten, Australia will go in to mourning. I could not believe it when I read that she weighs more than the 'tank' (Denman) and I can't wait to to see her in action.

I'm also looking forward to backing Gatewood, who was value for a lot further than the official winning margin at Epsom, in the Wolfreton Handicap on Friday and Richard Hannon's highly rated Jalaa in the first race on Saturday.

Euro 2012

Sky Bet's odds: 11/5 Germany, 9/4 Spain, 7/1 Portugal, 8/1 Italy, 8/1 England, 11/1 France, 40/1 Czech Republic, 50/1 Greece

This enthralling tournament rumbles on as we head into the knockout phase. Virtually every group game was entertaining and such a contrast to some of the torture we had to endure in South Africa two years ago. I will never forget being in Cape Town for England against Algeria, which remains the worst and most boring game I have ever seen.

How different England have been in Poland and Ukraine under Roy Hodgson. The squad have been united, spirited and determined, which has stood them in excellent stead so far. The victory against Ukraine sets up an intriguing quarter-final against Italy on Sunday night.

Sky Bet can't split the two sides with England and Italy available at 17/10 to win inside 90 minutes and the draw at 21/10.

Both sides like to play counter-attacking football so there must be every chance that we will see both defences on top and stalemate on Sunday and the need for dreaded penalties. I'll be backing no goalscorer in the 90 minutes at 6/1 with Sky Bet.

England haven't shown a lot going forward in this tournament but their defending has been superb and a strong back five gives any team a chance in a competition like this. That is England's strength but France's weakness and our bet on them to win Euro 2012 looks doomed as they have little chance of stopping Spain.

France's central defenders, who have had a difficult tournament so far, could be in for a torrid time. France have predictably drifted right out to 11/1 to win Euro 2012 with Germany the narrow favourites at 11/5 and Spain at 9/4.

It was a shame to see Croatia go out in the group stage because we backed them to qualify and they looked a decent side, who I thought were a little bit unlucky. It was also a pity for out bet on Mario Mandzukic to be the tournament's top goalscorer at 100/1 as he will play no further part after scoring three times. However, he easily landed our bet on him to be Croatia's top scorer at 7/1.

It's a shame to see them go out but a 7/1 winner can never be sniffed at and I'm sure we will hear more of Mandzukic in the future as I can easily see him coming to the Premier League next season.

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